A Man Verbally Attacks A Paw Paw Bar Employee; What Happens Next
What happened after a video went viral of a Kalamazoo man calling a female bar employee terrible names will restore your faith in humanity. The restaurant employee found a way to turn this awful moment into something good for her community. More on that after we explain what happened. Warning: This story contains very foul language.
Friday night Sara Austin was working at McCarty's North 40 in Paw Paw when the man in the video below and his friends entered the bar. Sara started recording the man calling her names and he didn't seem to care. The language in the video below is beyond uncalled for.
The videos lead to hundreds of comments and thousands of shares pretty fast. Most of us can agree that there is no reason to speak to anyone like that. However, it is still important to find out what lead to the cruel rant.
I reached out to Austin and asked her how this whole thing started. Here's what she had to say,
The man and his friends came in and immediately started harassing me about the fact that I was wearing a mask. “Why are you wearing that fucking mask?” I replied with the basic, “I’m sure you know why, it’s all over the news” I then handed them some disposable masks and casually told them if they got up from the bar to go to the bathroom or anything to please put them on. They agreed begrudgingly and I gave them a beer and within a minute or two they disappeared out to the patio. When I went to walk outside to ask them for a credit card to hold for their tab I noticed a chewed up orange sitting on top of my beer cooler. The men were drinking Oberon and one of them chewed up the orange and threw it behind the bar. At this point they were walking back inside (maskless) and I simply said “ hey guys, I need you to close out your tab” Mr. Lyundyk said “ok” and I thought well, that was easier than I thought it would be. And then he started in calling me names I realized my phone was directly underneath the counter so I picked it up and started recording his tirade. At one point I stopped recording to ask for help and then my boss came and saw what was going on and that was her in the second video. We were both afraid of this man.
Sara's boss told the man to leave and not come back. When he didn't comply they told him that police were on the way, he then threatened to burn the place down. When a couple regular customers walked in and attempted to help escort him out, the man allegedly threatened to kill them as well.
After the two videos of the incident were published on facebook the man was quickly identified as Robert Luyendyk. Soon after that he deactivated his facebook account. I reached out to Luyendyk on LinkedIn for his side of the story. We're still waiting to hear back.
The next day Robert returned to McCarty's North 40 and asked to speak with Sara and apologize. She understandably declined to speak with him. He then left an apology letter with a $100 bill. This is where the story gets good.
She took that $100 bill, matched it with her own money and started a fundraiser for the YWCA of Kalamazoo.
She set a goal of $10,000 and had this to say in her Facebook Fundraiser,
After the recent video of the man berating me while I was working at a local restaurant I received this apology letter and a One Hundred dollar bill. I have decided to try to turn this into a positive situation by donating and also matching his money to the other women who’s voices are not always heard as loudly as mine has been. Please share and let’s see if we can turn this awful behavior into something that can help others. Thank you to everyone who has shared the video and supported us through this and please try to remember to be kind to people. Thank you!!❤️
As of 9 AM on July 27th $1,242 has been donated. If you would like to know more about the YWCA or you want to donate to this fundraiser click here.
I'm not sure why there is such an ugly trend of treating restaurant workers with so much anger and disrespect lately. But how Sara has reacted to the hateful moment with such class gives me hope in humans.